25 January 2022

Sometimes it happens that we are completely lost in another universe. Through this disconnection from reality, I have found myself again by writing my poems.

BAO: What is your art? What do you want to communicate and transmit?

Demetra: My art is writing, for me writing means CARE.

I would like to communicate and transmit self-love. What does that mean? Listening, understanding, accepting every single feeling or emotion that distinguishes us as human beings; fear, anxiety, joy, happiness, hope, crying, the screams that are never enough, or reservedness, shyness, exasperation, aggression, being extroverted, or introverted, each of these variables is part of us, as human beings, is part of me undoubtedly (some less than others). In any case, by writing I put down on paper each of these emotions and feelings and with the understanding of myself, I reach self-love, this is the ultimate goal, the meeting with all parts of me. This is what I would like to communicate and convey; each of us can love ourselves and listen to ourselves, we can meet with ourselves, through perdition, darkness, and arriving with hope, and perhaps even with poetry, at the light.

BAO: How did your passion come about?

Demetra: Over the last three years in particular, I’ve approached poetry rather than prose, which has always accompanied me, and which I’m currently working on with a novel. Poetry has been an integral part of my journey over the last three years, and I started randomly, because I could no longer understand myself through prose. One night when I wasn’t sleeping, I was rolling over in bed, and every ten minutes I checked the time, as if to ward off the dawn, but it never seemed to come, and so I picked up the phone, scrolling through pages at random, without really knowing what I was looking for. I opened notes and started throwing words on the black screen, I never stopped from there, only those words didn’t make too much sense, they were cryptic, strange, apparently unrelated to each other. I couldn’t understand myself if it wasn’t like that, and sometime later I understood this.

I wrote so many poems, without realising it, that I woke up the next morning not even remembering that I had done it, sometimes it happens to be completely lost in another universe, not being present in the reality in which every human being lives. When it happened to me, I began to rediscover myself, thanks also to my poems, thanks to that night of agony and torment.

BAO: How does your creative process come about, what inspires you?

Demetra: What really inspires me are people, the faces of absent-minded passers-by, my family, my mother, my sister, my father who hasn’t been around for years, the people I’ve known all my life, and those I’ve known for a few months, my lifelong friends, and those who join me for an aperitif at the last minute. When I get on the underground and meet the gaze of a person I have never seen before, and I find that glow, that flash, then I can enter inside, to peep between his experiences and mine, there the poetry is born, and I start to write.

BAO: What are the difficulties you face today in making your art known and what would you need?

Demetra: The first difficulty for me is that I write, and in the immediate and instantaneous world we live in, many people don’t care about that. Many people don’t care about art in general, never mind poetry, which is even worse than writing tout court, or the novel, which is exciting anyway. So I would need to be listened to, to identify with those who read what I write, and a large audience, which I think all people who try to make art, to become art, need. Maybe a Ted Talk! Or something like that.

BAO: How do you think authenticity relates to artistic creation? How do you experience it in your creative process?

Demetra: As far as I’m concerned, authenticity is the fundamental basis from which I start, without even thinking about it. I’ve always been a child, and then an ‘open book’ girl, I’ve always given ample space to all my feelings, both beautiful and less beautiful, and now as a woman, I realise that, even if at times I might have been less open, this attitude of mine towards authenticity and physical and mental openness has helped me get to writing and poetry. So I would say that in my creative process it’s crucial to be myself, and it’s not always easy, or light, primarily for me, because the more I write the more different I discover myself, and sometimes the feelings are not positive, but I learn from myself and I really grow.

“Le cicatrici nei fiordalisi”, by Demetra Valentini, is available at the following links